AILA Welcomes Biden Plan to Implement Humane and Efficient Pathways to Safety

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds the bold announcement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas that the Biden Administration will scale up regional efforts in the Western Hemisphere with the intention of offering safer and more stable pathways to safety for refugees. AILA expressed disappointment that the Biden administration is proceeding with a proposed regulation that will block access to protection for many asylum seekers coming to the U.S. southern border.

AILA President Jeremy McKinney noted, “The Biden Administration’s decision to expand legal pathways and screen migrants for humanitarian protection and other forms of relief is bold, and if implemented as described today, a game-changer in modernizing U.S. migration policy. These initiatives show how managing global migration can and must be done by partnering with the governments of other Western hemisphere nations. These new initiatives are complemented by the administration’s re-start and expansion of the Cuban and Haitian family reunification programs that were created during the Bush and Obama years and have helped many families find stability in the United States. These policies align with AILA’s recommendations for solutions on these important issues. Unfortunately, these smart proposals come with dangerous strings attached, namely restrictions on asylum access at the U.S. border in the form of a proposed regulation that will push people fleeing persecution back into life-threatening harm’s way.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “Building and modernizing America’s refugee and family reunification programs is exactly the approach AILA has been calling for, to protect more people while channeling some of the refugee flows away from the border and out of the hands of smugglers. Today’s announcement is a welcome recognition of the need for a multi-lateral, all-of-government approach to the current challenges posed by historic levels of migration around the world. Though the protection and family reunification measures announced today are important, we demand that all adjudications, regardless of where they occur, are done fairly and safeguard due process. Finally, the lasting success of the programs announced today depends on Congress to stop the scapegoating and instead use their purse strings to fund these measures and to pass legislation to overhaul the immigration system.”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 23042701.